European ministers back Ankara’s EU accession bid

Eleven EU foreign ministers praised Turkey and supported its EU application process in an article published on the EUobserver news portal.

German FM Guido Westerwelle (C) speaks with his Dutch, Luxembourg, Italian and British counterparts Dec 1, prior to a Foreign Affairs Council at the EU headquarters. AFP photo

German FM Guido Westerwelle (C) speaks with his Dutch, Luxembourg, Italian and British counterparts Dec 1, prior to a Foreign Affairs Council at the EU headquarters. AFP photo

The article signed by foreign ministers of Lithuania, Sweden, Latvia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Estonia and the U.K. said, “Turkey is an important partner as a new economic powerhouse for the single market and a growing regional power that could contribute to our shared foreign policy effort. We believe strongly in the benefits the Turkish accession process has brought both to the EU and Turkey and in its continued importance for driving progress towards shared goals such as economic competitiveness, energy security and regional stability.”

The article praised Turkey’s efforts in Afghanistan, congratulating Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu as “a key interlocutor” on Afghanistan after he made a personal contribution to last month’s conference in Istanbul.

The 11 foreign ministers wrote that “the ‘Arab Spring’ underlines the strong interests the EU and Turkey have in working together to ensure the region changes for the better,” adding that they welcomed Turkey’s increasing participation in EU foreign policy discussions. The article also called on Turkey to open its ports to Greek “Cyprus as it has committed to do.”

December/02/2011

BRUSSELS TDN